Job Application Tips: A Guide on How To Ace Your Job Interview

Job Application Tips: A Guide on How To Ace Your Job Interview

You finally sent that application, you heard back from the employer and now you’ve got an interview scheduled. Your blood pressure is reaching a high, your fingers feel all tingly, and you feel like you’re sweating ice cubes. It’s finally the moment of truth, a make-or-break situation. You wonder if you’re prepared enough to face the interviewers. Before you panic and shave your eyebrows out of distress, the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath. Read this guide and learn some job application tips on to know how to ace your application and interview. 

a human resource interviewing a first time job seeker virtually

The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviews

The Do’s

Be it any position you’re applying for, from an entry-level position to a senior role, you’ll still experience going through the process of interviews. Job interviews aren’t supposed to be that scary. After all, employers just ask you questions to know who you are as a person and what you’ve been doing in your previous work experience or background. Job interviews give you a window of opportunity to showcase your qualifications, and a chance to make a good impression.


Know the company you’re applying for. Before you click on that “apply” button, make sure you’ve read the fine print. Read the job description and understand what you’re getting yourself into. Are you qualified for the position? Would you like to accomplish the responsibilities of that position you’re applying for? Learn about the company and its work culture before jumping into the open seat.


Make a list of the things you need to have prepared prior to your interview. Know that interviews aren’t just question and answer situations that talk about what’s written on your resume. It’s beyond that. Carefully line up the things you need to accomplish and have prepared, like your interview attire and the setting where your interview will be held.  

Know that any well-planned activity scores higher on execution than a spontaneous one. On the contrary, if you still claim that having no plan works perfectly, then you should consider a few bullet points. Consider writing down your strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, and skills. You don’t have to write a book or a complete dissertation. Simply jot down on a piece of paper, what you’re certain of about yourself. Planning also includes reviewing your resume and crunching how you can effectively explain your educational background and work experience.


Try to practice answering a few common interview questions. Reflect on the ways that work best for you. Look up a couple of videos for you to practice with. The most common interview questions include:  

  1. 1. Tell us about yourself. 
  1. 2. What are your strengths and Weaknesses? 
  1. 3. How did you hear about us? 
  1. 4. Why should we hire you? 
  1. 5. Tell us about your work experience.  
  1. 6. What are your hobbies? 
  1. 7. Is there any question you’d like to ask us? 

To avoid freezing on your chair and stuttering like a broken record player, it’s important that you practice. You’re not aiming for perfection, what you should aim for is honesty and excellence. Just be yourself, but be reminded to situate your actions and words according to the setting where you are in. Since interviews are mostly conducted in a professional setup, you must retain the level of professionalism and formality during your interview and when you begin work.

a person with white long sleeve shirt holding a clipboard with resume for job interview

The Don’ts

During an interview when you are asked to talk about yourself and your experiences, know that there are still boundaries you must maintain. When you are being interviewed or once you’ve passed the interview, there is also a depth of decorum that should be followed, to ensure that both parties are respected.

Questions about yourself

When asked a question about yourself, we’re not talking about creating an autobiography. Hence, there’s no need to talk about the countless events that have occurred from the moment you are born to the moment you are being interviewed. When you are asked a question that is centered on what you’ve experienced at work and in your school years, this is a question that seeks to know your skills.  

When asked to tell the employers or interviewers about yourself, you respond with facts about your previous work experience, your skills, and your educational background. You don’t talk about unrelated features about yourself that would be irrelevant to the position you’re applying for. For example, if you are asked to tell the interviewers about yourself, refrain from sharing sentiments like “my favorite color is blue, and I like cheesecake.” In cases where you’re asked to share something that isn’t work, education, or skill-related, then you can input that information here.

Technical Questions

Know that it is never right to include information in your curriculum vitae, resume, or interview that is untrue. In case you mess up because of nervousness, and perhaps paranoia of a sort, immediately correct yourself. When interview questions get tricky, simply take a breath, pause, and answer carefully. Interviews aren’t measured according to speed. It’s not a race!  

Instead of blurting out the information you are unsure about, converse with your interviewer about what you know. And for the information that you are unaware of, humbly explain that you are willing to learn, and you are prepared to put on a student mindset when you need to. You see interviews and applications aren’t built with the expectation that you are aware of every single thing about the position and industry you are applying for.  

Interviews and applications don’t have to be so stressful. If you’re a fresh graduate, a person changing career paths, or someone who will be presenting a pitch to clients on a business-to-business partnership, then you’re on the right page. You don’t have to be a perfect presenter or a perfect candidate to be interviewed or be considered for the seat you are applying for. There’s no need to rush into figuring out the answers to each question thrown at you. Remember, you need only to be prepared, and believe in yourself.  

You know yourself better than anyone else. And you know that showcasing what you are skilled with and what you know is better than spitting false information and promises.

two business people in a coworking lounge with multiple colorful sofa chairs with wood panels as design

The Psychology of it all

There are only three ways you could feel before an interview

A. You could be calm and collected; well prepared and confident.  
B. You could be sweating ice cubes through all parts of your body, shivering in fear. 
C. You could be completely apathetic, no feeling at all, a Squidward with no smidgeon of emotion.  

To ensure that you will not be either B or C, you must take the necessary precautions in your journey of preparation. Triage your list according to your priorities. What do you feel least confident in? Is it speaking and talking about yourself? Or is it the technical test that you are required to accomplish? Whatever it may be, place that as your first priority.  

Remember, whoever will conduct your interview, be it a member of the human resources team or the owner of the company, know that these people are human beings too, just like yourself. So just take the necessary preparation to ace your application and interview and breathe.  

As you prepare for your application and interview, place yourself in a situated mindset, with your goal in mind. Hydrate yourself, prepare your resume, and suit up. Prepare in a space where you can focus. If your home has an unstable internet connection or noisy dogs barking here and there, or perhaps your neighbor has a boisterous karaoke machine, you might want to consider preparing somewhere else. You’d like to consider preparing at a Coworking Space. Unlike coffee shops where you’d have to spend countless hard-earned money, you can have full focus at a Coworking Space, you get countless benefits, perks, freebies, and even free coffee and tea – all at a cost that makes you save more. Coworking spaces have private phone booths that are soundproof which you can book hourly and daily. When you have an important call or meeting it’s a good idea to opt for this option.  

There’s a plus! When you finally get that sweet “yes” from the company you’ve applied for, and you can work remotely or from home, you could work at one of these coworking spaces, pick your plan, and have the freedom to go to the office when you want to. The best part is, you can ask your employer to get you a plan in a coworking space. Imagine saving costs on utilities! We all know how badly we dread paying those numbers on our bills, especially using the money we work relentlessly hard to earn. You could work at this local startup that offers tons of freebies – Weremote. Instead of lodging at a café where you spend countless “cha-chings,” you can work at this coworking space. Fine interiors, inspiring atmosphere, comfortable furniture, and unlimited gourmet tea and coffee, it’s like a haven!

two women and two men standing and looking at laptop

The Paperwork

You thought the toughest thing you had to accomplish was the interview? Think again! The most tedious thing you’d have to work on is the government requirements you need to accomplish. 

The basic requirements include:

  • • Barangay Clearance – for first time job seekers, this is your ticket to claiming your NBI Clearance for free.  
  • • NBI Clearance 
  • • Social Security System (SSS) 
  • • Pag-ibig 
  • •PhilHealth 

Barangay Clearance

In order to get your Barangay Clearance, you need to bring a resume to claim your Clearance for free. However, this free Barangay Clearance perk is only available for first-time job-seekers. On the contrary, the cost to obtain this document is only Php 100.00.  

What you need to do: 

Step 1: At the most convenient time for you (but it is suggested to be at your local barangay no later than 8 am), head to the information hub.  

Step 2: Inform the assigned personnel at the information hub that you would like to be furnished with a Barangay Clearance. For first-time job-seekers, present your resume as this will serve as your ticket to obtaining the document for free. For regular job-seekers, fill in the form that will be given to you.  

Step 3: Accomplish the form with your credentials: Name, Residential Address, Contact Number, and Email Address.  

Step 4: Present a Valid ID at the counter where you will be asked to pay the Php 100.00 (for regular job-seekers). For first-time job-seekers, you need only to present a valid ID at the counter as you patiently wait for your clearance to be printed.  

Once the document is given to you, make sure to double-check the information that is typed on the fine print. Check your name, address, and the date that is stated on the Barangay Clearance. Once all the information is correct, kindly thank our public servants who have prepared the document for you and smile your way as you leave the local government unit. 

Fun Fact: The First-time Jobseekers Act was established in 2019. This act allows Filipino citizens who are first-time jobseekers, to obtain a Barangay Clearance and NBI clearance for free.  

NBI Clearance

Before you visit the NBI Branch nearest your location, visit their website and register online. Thankfully, you don’t have to visit their branch immediately. It’s quite a few steps easier to accomplish obtaining your NBI Clearance because they offer online registration.  

On the online portal you may select which branch, date, and time you wish to visit to obtain your NBI Clearance. For first-time jobseekers, you must present your Barangay Clearance and First-time Jobseekers form (attached to the Barangay Clearance) at the counter upon request. This will entitle you to an NBI Clearance free of charge. 

For regular applicants, they may continue to register online and accomplish the online payment through the provided channels. The cost of the NBI Clearance document is Php 150.00.  

Step 1: Create an account within the NBI Clearance Portal. 

Step 2: Accomplish each required online application form.  

Step 3: Screenshot and take note of your Reference Number. This will be validated upon arrival at the selected NBI Branch to confirm your appointment.  

Step 4: Patiently wait for your turn to proceed to the counter – where you will be asked to validate the information you provided on the online application.  

Step 5: If your name has no “hit,” then you may proceed to receiving your NBI Clerance on the printed date that is stated on the receipt that will be given to you. Otherwise, you would have to wait for further system validation. Know that you will also be given a receipt that will contain a different date and time when you may receive your NBI Clearance.  

Step 6: Upon your return to claim your NBI Clearance, you must present the receipt that was given to you on the date that you visited the branch, alongside two valid IDs.  

What do you need for the NBI Clearance? 

  • • Online Registration Form 
  • • 2 Valid Government-Issued IDs 
  • • 2 Scanned and printed copies of your 2 Valid Government-Issues IDs 
  • • Barangay Certificate (for first-time job applicants) 
  • • NBI Clearance Application Form Reference Number
man waiting outside the office for his job application and interview

Social Security System (SSS)

For any job-seeking individual, you’d definitely be required to have your Social Security System number. Now for first-time jobseekers, what is this so-called SSS number, and what is it for? The SSS is the Philippine’s state-run insurance program that is mandated to provide Filipino workers in both informal and professional sectors.  

You should know that when you get your SSS document and number, you’d have to allow at least half a day for this. Lining up for the SSS document takes patience. If you line up as early as 7 am, you’d still be faced with a line of at least 2 to 5 meters long. Whether or not you’ve got the patience of a saint you’d still feel tired and stressed because of the overwhelming list of things to accomplish. Surely, you’d be concerned about our ongoing climate, and wish you had lived sustainably for the past 10 years.  

Step 1: Register online, through the official SSS website by creating an account.  

Step 2: Input your details accordingly. Piece of advice, frequently screenshot your information as technical difficulties are bound to occur along the way.  

Step 3: Verify your information and account by inputting the number that will be sent to your provided mobile number or email address.  

Step 4: Print your application. 

Step 5: In case there are any website buffers, head to the SSS email address and inform them immediately about your technical difficulty. You will be informed to deliver your documents to the drop-box provided at the nearest branch located in your area. Otherwise, you may proceed to visit the SSS branch on the date indicated in the message sent to your mobile number.  

Step 6: Visit the nearest SSS branch on the date assigned to you, and line up. As you do, you will be guided by the branch personnel to proceed to the different counters to confirm the information you provided online.  

What you need… 

  • • Birth Certificate 
  • • 2 Scanned and Printed Copies of 2 Government-Issues IDs 
  • • Printed Online Application 
  • • Brown Folder 
  • • Bring your own black pen (make sure it’s a working one, as you will be writing on countless forms and paperwork) 

PRO TIP: Make sure to print at least 2 extra copies of each for your IDs and documents.  


This is by far the easiest transaction you will ever experience in the spectrum of all requirements you need to run. Now if you’re unfamiliar with what Pag-Ibig is, know that it surely isn’t what you call “love.” The Pag-Ibig Fund Philippines provides a platform for Filipinos to obtain affordable shelter through an organized financing system.   

Step 1: Register online by creating an account.  

Step 2: Fill in the required information.  

Step 3: Upload the necessary documents indicated on the application portal.  

Step 4: You’re good to go! Once you’re done, print 2 copies of the Accomplished Buyer’s Information Sheet with 2 copies of your 1×1 photo.  

Step 5: Once you’ve accomplished all the forms and had them printed, you may proceed to the nearest Pag-Ibig branch in your area on the assigned date and time indicated in the message sent to your registered mobile number.  

What you need… 

  • • Birth certificate 
  • • 2 Copies of your Filled-in Forms 
  • • 2 1X1 Recently taken photos 
  • • 2 Scanned and Printed Copies of 2 of your Government-Issues IDs 
  • • Bring a working black pen for the forms you will be filling in at the branch 
asian man and woman working together

All right, a quick breather from the lengthy reading of all the things you need to have settled in getting a job. You should know that it’s not all bad, long lines aren’t that terrifying. However, a suggestion from a pal, it’s better to arrive at the designated branch of the local office at least 7 am to 8 am. It is true in this case that the early bird gets the worm.


Now back to work! As per writing, there are no available mediums for obtaining and registering for your PhilHealth application online. Thankfully, we have the internet! And looking up the nearest branch in your area is just a search away. Once you know where to go and how to get there, you need only to prepare your documents. Remember it’s better to be organized than to have a cluttered mind as you accomplish obtaining your PhilHealth ID.

What you need… 

• 2 Copies of your PSA-issues Birth Certificate
• 2 Recently taken 1×1 ID Pictures 
• 2 Scanned and printed copies of your Government-Issued IDs 
• 2 Accomplished copies of the PhilHealth Member Registration Form (upon requesting at the local branch) 

Before you visit the branch to obtain your PhilHealth ID, you must eat a heavy breakfast. You should also bring a small tumbler with cold water, as the weather may not contribute effectively to the duration of time you will be lined up waiting for your turn. Wear smart-casual, but comfortable clothing. It’s suggested to wear attire that does not inhibit aeration.

an asian human resource typing on a computer keyboard


When you’re starting a new job, or perhaps you just graduated and you’re on your way to getting a job, you must know that one of the essentials is having a workplace. Whether you’re working from home or remotely, you need a place where there are minimal distractions, a clean and durable desk, and a comfortable chair where you won’t develop muscle tension and countless aches.  

As you work on the different governmental documents required of you for employment, make sure that you’re seated in a comfy and reliable chair. Certainly, you wouldn’t want a chair that would fall apart when you have an emotional breakdown because of stress. That’s just plain absurd!  

For the most excellent and latest chairs, you can check this article that features the best Ergonomic Chairs you can get at the most affordable price. Other than that, there’s nothing like resonating with the wonders of nature and acting responsibly in creating our own office spaces. Oftentimes we think of impulse buying here and there, whenever there’s a sale.

Don’t be fooled by the countless pay-day and monthly sales here and there. You’re wiser than that! Tighten your belt and know what you really need so you won’t go around splurging on a bunch of things using the money you worked hours to make. Working sustainably is key to ensuring maximum growth, in any position, company, and industry you’re in.

an image of dwight schrute calling from a telephone from the show the office

The Importance of a Reliable Workspace

There’s nothing like it. Imagine spending countless hours seated in one place, for hours every day. It’s like if you were a plant, you could actually grow roots underneath you. Whether you are a contender for a position or you’re building your own business and you’re still planning your act in life, having a workplace is crucial. From a simple desk to one where you’re completing the setup of your personal PC, having a dedicated workstation is important. 

Having a defined workspace allows you to have a hold on a system of focus as you get down and work on each task. When your workspace is equipped and decorated accordingly as you please, you have enough headspace to conduct yourself during critical hours of work, especially when you feel most busy. 

When you have acquired and relaxed office space, the neurotransmitters in your brain come hand-in-hand in achieving each responsibility you need to work on. Matched up with a spark of motivation and sparkle of creativity, you’ll be on hype for working on your work tasks and your personal goals.

an image from the american sitcom friends with a background of an office

The Gist

First, planning is important. If this could be written at an even larger font and size, it should be. Whether you are preparing for an interview or gathering the information to work on your governmental documents, planning is a crucial part of the process.  

Second, sunblock is important. With all the long lines, bumpy roads, and stressful paperwork there is to accomplish, it might just be inevitable if you won’t grow fine lines. But of course, if you make sure to do your homework and follow directions, there’s less hassle that awaits you.  

Last but not least, nothing beats a reliable workspace. You could be working within your studio unit, shared room, or out and about wherever on the map you may be, but having that trustworthy workstation is a definitive aspect of establishing amplified work energy. Don’t restrain yourself within spaces you’ve outgrown. Maximum growth is achieved through careful planning, opportunities taken, and creativity ignited. So, head on and begin!

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